This category involves critically important skills: knowing how to
listen, sharing your thoughts and feelings honestly, refraining from
criticising and encouraging your partner to share his or her feelings.
Knowledge of Partner
What's her shirt size? What's her favourite food? After communication,
simply knowing a lot about your partner is a powerful way of showing
that you care, and makes you better equipped to tend to his or her
Conflict-resolution skills include techniques such as staying focused on
the topic, staying focused on the present, being ready to forgive or
apologise, knowing when to take a break.
Do you plan for emergencies? Do you exercise and stay fit? Studies show
that people usually want their partners to contribute a degree of
security to a long-term relationship. People also want their partners to
take good care of themselves.
This is not the same as life skills, Epstein insists. People who are
skilled at self-management take inventories of their strengths and
weaknesses and always strive for improvement. They know how to interpret
disturbing events in positive ways and they work hard to reach their
Sex and Romance
People with strong skills in these areas enquire and care about how to
please their partner sexually, set aside time for intimacy, refrain from
blaming their partner when sex doesn't go smoothly, and try to stay
physically attractive for their partner.